Funeral Stationery: what you need to know
Firstly, please let us say that we’re sorry for your loss and sorry that you’ve found us under these circumstances. Losing someone gives you so much to deal with; emotions, family and all of the logistics and administration entailed in arranging a funeral.
It is daunting when faced with the difficult and poignant task of arranging a funeral, regardless of whether the deceased left express wishes. You are not alone in feeling the weight of responsibility in doing your loved one proud.
We’d like to share with you our insights into funeral and bereavement stationery etiquette, in the hope that this is one less thing to worry about.
Types of Funeral and Bereavement Stationery
It can be difficult to know how best to break the news of a death, and who should be notified. Close family and friends need to hear it face-to-face or by phone, even though this might feel uncomfortable.
For more distant relatives and friends, death (or funeral) announcements should be sent once the funeral arrangements are known.
Include the name and residence of the deceased, the date of their death plus when and where the funeral service will be held. If appropriate you can state your request for flowers and/or donations to charity.
Don’t forget to place death notices in local newspapers to inform people you are no longer in contact with. It also lets people know within the local community where can go and pay their respects. If they were widely known or travelled a National newspaper will be more relevant.
Funeral Order of service
The Order of Service, or Mass Book in Catholic church, is often the most meaningful item of bereavement stationery.
It is a guide through the funeral proceedings but also a tribute to your loved one and a memento for guests.
The format is usually relatively formulaic, following the traditional order of the funeral service itself. It will vary depending on the wishes and religious beliefs of the deceased but the structure remains more or less the same for a religious or civil service.
What to include
The front cover of the booklet will state the name of the person being remembered as well as the dates of their birth and death. It’s also common to include the date and location of the service.
Inside the booklet, the first task is to outline what is to happen during the service and in what order; what hymns or songs will be played/ sung, who will be speaking and so on. In addition, it can be touching and memorable to include a timeline of the life of your loved one.
The size will vary depending on the length of your service and the information you wish to include. HoneyTree order of service booklets include 8 printed page inserts so you have plenty of space to include whatever content fits the deceased and their memorial.
How many will I need?
It can be difficult to decide how many order of service booklets to print. Many people like to take home the order of service as a memento. It is important to assume one per person as well as some extra to send to any family and friends unable to attend the funeral.
There is sadly no rule of thumb here; you are most likely the best placed to decide, based on the size of your family, the age of the deceased and the breadth of their social circle.
After the funeral, you may wish to thank the people who helped you through it. You don’t need to send thank you cards to everyone who attended the funeral or sent a card, but it is important to acknowledge acts of kindness and support, even though it may be difficult to write thank you notes while you are grieving.
A thank you card sent within two to three weeks of the funeral or memorial service is appropriate. It’s good practice to send cards to anyone who sent flowers or contributed financially to the funeral. Also to the pallbearers and presiding officials/ clergy. It’s also a perfect time to thank anyone who supported you and your family in the time before, and since, the death. Make sure to sign the card by hand and deliver either via first class post, or where possible by hand.
Personalising your bereavement stationery
Typically, bereavement stationery is understated and traditional in design. However it’s an opportunity to reflect your loved one’s personality so don’t be afraid to defy convention if it feels right.
Adding vibrant colour and uplifting pictures can transform the atmosphere of a funeral service into a celebration of life.
Our HoneyTree templates give you the choice to add illustrations or a photo to your stationery. As well as numerous fonts and colour options that complement the premium-quality white or cream card.